Joel Osteen Describes His Pastoral Approach as 'Less Hellfire'

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  • Joel Osteen
    (Photo: The Christian Post via CNN)
    Joel Osteen on CNN.
By Katherine Weber, Christian Post Reporter
July 27, 2012|3:39 pm

Pastor Joel Osteen has recently spoken on his sometimes criticized approach to preaching, saying that ultimately the opportunity to impact his fellow man is the most important part of his ministry, as it is both "humbling and rewarding."

The Blaze's faith editor, Billy Hallowell, asked Osteen about his approach to evangelism, which some criticize for being watered-down, as Osteen often chooses not to focus so much on punishment for sin but rather on strengthening one's personal relationship with God.

"A lot of what I do is in a positive light. It's who I am…to me, the Scripture says it's the goodness of God that leads to repentance," Osteen told The Blaze.

"I would rather tell them we can be better fathers, we can overcome an addiction, we can let go of the past. I deal with it in an overcoming way," he said.

"There's a camp that's more hellfire," he added.

Osteen told The Blaze that his biggest blessing is being able to help so many people, regardless if he gets to meet them face to face, as his sermons are broadcast around the world on a weekly basis.

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"The biggest blessing is being able to help people you've never met," Osteen told Hallowell in the exclusive interview. "To realize you've impacted their lives. There's no feeling like that."

The Texas minister has often been the target of criticism that he does not address issues such as homosexuality, abortion, and other heavy subjects head-on.

"My platform is not big anti-abortion, although I am not for abortion. But you know, we are just for helping people," Osteen told The Christian Post at the Capitol Hill Pregnancy Center in Washington D.C., in April.

The megachuch pastor and best-selling author, although continuing to face criticism for his approach to hot-button issues, continues to stand by his unique pastoral style.

He told The Blaze that his main two goals in the ministry are for his listeners to "receive Christ and have a relationship with him – their Creator. And then, my second thing would be that…know that God is for you. You're here for a purpose. You're a person of destiny. It's easy to get stuck in a rut of life."

Osteen is the senior pastor of Lakewood Church in Houston, Texas, which boasts a congregation of 40,000.

 

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